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Not Everyone Should Be A Prophet

When I was first married, I went to a church that had a huge impact on me.  It was the first church where I consciously paid attention to the effect it had on me.

Interestingly I wasn’t actually saved when I first started going there.  I thought I was.  I planned to go to seminary and become a preacher.  It sounded like a great idea to me.  Fortunately, I didn’t actually go through with the  idea of taking off to New Orleans, Louisville or some other exotic locale in which to learn this trade.

Somewhere along the way, I took a class or something, where the teacher began to talk about his spiritual gifts.  I really thought this was only for the super spiritual and that I wasn’t quite there yet.  I don’t know if I thought you would go along as a Christian and get bitten by a radioactive spider or something to acquire such powers.  Later on I was saved and came to know the Lord and much of this thinking was cleared up somehow.

Back to this teacher, he began to tell about his particular gift.  He said that he had the gift of prophecy.  At that time, I thought that meant that one could predict the future or something like that.  Fortunately, this teacher straightened me out on this, or something like that.

He said that having the gift of prophecy meant that one had the ability to speak the truth of the Bible with authority.  The person gifted with this could speak the truth.  Nothing was said about speaking the truth in love, just the truth..  With what seemed like pride, he said that when people saw him, the one gifted with prophecy, walking down the street, they would often cross the street to avoid him.

I was thinking about this recently when I read across James 3:1:

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

My thought was that not everyone should be prophets either.  Not many should have a gift that if used in certain ways, people will do their best to avoid you.  After all, as Peter Parker’s uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

I wonder sometimes if some people confuse the gift of prophecy with the gift of being a jerk.  Is their personality before coming to know Christ such that they pretty much say what is on their mind anyway?

Too many people use the excuse that they are who they are to get away with their behavior.  It’s possible that some of us could do the same with our spiritual gift.  “I have the gift of prophecy, of forth telling?  Cool.  I can say whatever I want to say and people just need to accept it.  After all, that’s the way the Lord recreated me.”

Not everyone should be a prophet.

Have you ever known anyone who misused their spiritual gift(s)?

  1. January 22, 2014 at 7:22 am

    While i won’t totally disagree with that teacher’s definition, I will totally disagree with the idea of people seeing him and walking the other side of the street to avoid him. Truth told without love is nothing more than “hammer time.” Maybe he was obnoxious or smelled bad. 🙂

  2. January 22, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I’ve made the observation before that the modern church doesn’t want to recognize that the “office” of prophet was never rescinded. We still need them, these people who spoke truth to power and warned nations – but we don’t want them.

    As to people misusing spiritual gifts? Happens all the time, sadly. I like Bill’s take on the guy – maybe he was obnoxious.

    • January 23, 2014 at 5:33 am

      Rick, I believe he had unspiritual gift of being a jerk.

  3. January 22, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I don’t know if I have. I have known people who wanted to have gifts that they didn’t have. This includes people who wanted to preach but didn’t have the gift of teaching.

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